Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Another reason Insurance Companies make my head hurt

I am a smoker. No, I am not proud of that. In fact, I pretty much hate it. Even if it does make me look cool, I think the phrase "Alive With Pleasure" is a real big oxymoron. I have been trying to quit off and on (more off than on to be brutally honest) for the better part of the last 5 years. So far, there have been a few pockets of success sandwiched in between huge areas of failure. I have even gotten a prescription from my doctor (who is an excellent MD) trying to help me out. He "diagnosed" me with mild depression (I am hoping that he was just using it as a front. I rarely listen to Morrisey, so I think I am safe from that particular problem) in order to prescribe an anti-depressant that has a side effect of helping you quit (beats the hell out of most side effects, but it doesn't compare to those 4 hour erections they talk about. I haven't had one of those since high school, and there wasn't much of anything I could do with that then except walk hunched over a bit so that I wouldn't accidentally impale something, or someone). Unfortunately it hasn't helped.

Now I have heard of this new prescription called Chantix that seems to work wonders. I know two people who have used it and have quit within a week, and through some friends I know of probably a dozen more who have had similar success. So it sounds like a natural, right? Only the insurance company won't cover it. And without a prescription it costs somewhere in the area of $200+ for each fill/refill, and you have to be on it for about a month or so (which means at least 2 fills. or $400). I already work 2 jobs and don't have that kind of scratch floating around. The only way I could afford it is to quit smoking for a few weeks and save the money.

You see the irony there, right? Of course you do my little Morrissettes. It's like rain on your wedding day and shit like that.

Here is what is killing me (besides the cigarettes that is). The insurance company doesn't want to fork over the dough to cover the prescription, right? But they will fork over all the money for the chemo in 10-15 years? I am willing to bet that the oncology visits are going to cost more than the prescription, not to mention the little things that get bigger because of the smoking (like the circulation problems that exacerbate the leg issues that they have paid a few thousand for already). Don't you think that it would be smarter for them to pay up now? I know I do.

And for those who say "just quit", well, if you can do that, you are stronger than me in the willpower department. I really don't want to keep spending the money for something that is going to kill me. It is an addiction. I know I was stupid to start, and I regret it, but that doesn't change anything about the fact that I did and I would like to stop. Short of holding a telethon, I don't know what to do.

Besides light one up, that is.

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